Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008

1. Shanghai Maglev Train

The magnetic-levitation train ride from the international airport to the city is the perfect metaphor for Shanghai. The train reaches speeds of 430 km/hr (267 miles/hr), and the trip takes less than eight minutes. You'll be feeling a bit whiplashed, but that sense of disorientation hints at the fast-paced city that lies ahead. As of now, the Maglev doesn't extend to the rest of the Shanghai — the train line was built mostly as a prestige project to impress visitors, not to service locals — so the airport run is the one place you can enjoy the ride. Single-ride tickets cost 50 yuan.